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When golf becomes a battle of attrition
Pacific Dunes hates me
I have a fraught relationship when it comes to Pacific Dunes, the number two ranked course in the country. I’ve been fortunate enough to play it three times (the benefit of living in Oregon) and all three times they have been miserable experiences.
The first was at the tail end of a golf trip and I developed a blister on the back of my foot which ripped off mid-round. It was like the Curt Schilling bloody sock game, and it was uncomfortable and painful. I didn’t shoot well.
My second time was the first day of a golf trip to Bandon specifically with high winds, no caddy, and three people that have never played it before. We were hitting three woods into par threes because the wind was so intense. Easily 30-40 mph. I thought it was the windiest round I could possibly play; I was so very wrong.
My third time was in a round where we faced wind gusts up to 65mph, the sand was blasting us in the face, which was painful. Eventually, some sideways rain came. When you placed the ball on the green you had to push down on it, or it would roll away. Putts never stopped moving on the green because of the wind, one player in our group had a 12-foot putt for birdie that rolled 150 feet off the green. I didn’t even play the last three holes; I just couldn’t do it anymore.
It was no longer golf; it was a battle of attrition, and that is not a good time.
You can’t control the conditions around you. There are two ways to handle it, you can get pissy about it or just laugh.
When we went in after the round the Players were on, they were dealing with 20-30mph winds, guys were dunking balls into the water on the 17th and 18th holes. Brooks Koepka dropped one into the water and just laughed.
It made me think about how I gave up with three holes to play and was just kind of pissy. I can’t control it, I am only going to play this course a few times in my life, instead of getting pissy I just need to laugh about it and play through it.
The next day I went out in rough conditions but were massively easier than what I faced the day before. While the winds were still 20-30mph I gutted through it. Sure, I had some really brutal holes but by laughing it off and trying to have a positive mindset I finished the last three holes one under.